The NoHo BID is proud of the history of our neighborhood and always looking for ways to promote it. We feel very lucky to have The Merchant House Museum to help tell our story. Back in the 1800’s, the Astor’s, New York’s most prominent society family, moved up to the area from Wall Street to get more space and greenery. Quickly the area was THE place to live and other elite families followed. Today, visitors can travel back in time and learn about life in early NoHo by visiting the home of Seabury Tredwell, now called the Merchant House Museum, and taking a tour of this home that was continuously lived in by the Tredwells for over 100 years.
The Tredwell Family came to the United States from England and lived in Massachusetts in the early 1630’s before settling in Long Island. They eventually relocated to Manhattan in 1789 and in 1835 purchased this home, which is located on East 4th Street and is surrounded by many historic buildings formerly occupied by the upper echelons of New York society.
The home was owned by the family for over 100 years and housed the family members and their many Irish servants, whose lives you can learn about on museum tours. The interior of the historic home was preserved and closely resembles the layout originally used by the Tredwell’s. Some of the features of the home that have been preserved and restored include the mahogany doors, brilliant marble mantle pieces, columns, and elaborate plasterwork which all give the home an elegant and sophisticated feel. The museum showcases the skilfully crafted furniture, elaborate dresses, fine china, and miscellaneous objects valued by the family.
The owners of Merchant house today fear that the fragile historic environment in which the building is located has been jeopardized by construction and development projects which have already had an effect on the character of the building. Preservationists are working to protect the home and the rest of the historic neighborhood in hopes of continuing the legacy created by the Tredwells many years ago.
Those who are interested in learning more about the history are welcome to visit Thursdays, 12 to 8pm and Friday to Monday from 12 to 5pm. In addition, the Museum holds monthly events, including a NoHo walking tour, which can be found on the calendar by searching merchantshouse.org.